Etymology

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SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Etymology

#1 Post by SivaRamanathan » 31 May 2014, 05:11

Etymology

With grandpa’s legerdemain
infrastructures collapsed
like a seduced body slipping from its garments
and new structures emerged.

The monochromatic spinning mill
stood tallest central pivot
the painted facades of the mill-houses,
revolved around
like cottages.

The Mill was like an Emperor
the mill houses, its concubines;
Grandpa managed to keep their height at bay.

The complex stretched from the mill gates
to the sea. Almost maintain-free-and green,
with shades of grey in between.

Grandpa maneuvered the finest
painted glass windows in this bungalow,
where the arts and literature flourished.

Yarn manufactured from cotton fiber,
and we climbed all those bales
as only children are able to play.

Mismanagement by the sons, and by
the next generation a decline in productivity,
as if listening to grandpa’s command.

Despite the government
confiscating the years invested,
Grandpa retired King of Cotton.

The landscape coloring
is like a symbolic foreshadowing
With his knowledge of Tamil Sangam poetry,
the old man escaped the run of the mill,

fit to scribe his name on a manuscript.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With grandpa’s legerdemain
parts of the building collapsed
like worn clothes
and new structures arose.

The mill was masculine
the mill-houses feminine;
it was much like an Emperor and his concubines
he managed to keep their height at bay.

The buildings stretched from the mill gates
to the sea. It was as easy to maintain;
there was green, there was grey and shades in between.

Grandpa maneuvered to get the best painted glass windows
in this bungalow, the arts and literature flourished.

They manufactured yarn, from cotton fibre
and we climbed all those bales
as children do when they play.

The mill was mismanaged by grandpa’s sons.
The mill stopped growing. As if listening to his command.

The government confisticated the mill
but he left with dignity, king of cotton,
with his Tamil and his knowledge of Sangam poetry

fit to write his name on a manuscript.

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1702
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: Etymology

#2 Post by Michael (MV) » 01 Jun 2014, 22:59

Hi Siva,

I like the analogy to genealogy with the title word "Etymology."


With grandpa’s legerdemain
parts of the building collapsed
like worn clothes
and new structures arose.

^^ here, the simile of building collapsing & worn clothing didn't analogize for this reader-writer.

Perhaps as a seduction of collapse:

With grandpa’s legerdemain
infrastructurals collapsed
like a seduced body slipping from its garments     (or trappings)
and new structures emerged.


In general, more show than telling:

The mill was masculine

^^ a verb more dynamic than the linking "was"

Maybe the gender terms could be implied:

a loose construction to workshop:

The monochromatic mill house stood tallest central pivot
the painted facades of the mill-houses, danced/revoloved around
like cottages like doll house,


like an Emperor and his concubines,
he managed to keep their height at bay.

^^ here the simile fits


The complex stretched from the mill gates
to the sea. Almost maintain-free -
and green, with shades of grey in between.       - the landscape coloring is like a symbolic foreshadowing

Grandpa maneuvered the finest
painted glass windows in this bungalow,
and the arts and literature flourished.

Yarn manufactured from cotton fiber,
and we climbed all those bales
as only children are able to play.

Mismanagement by the sons, and by
the next generation a decline in productivity,
as if listening grandpa’s command.

^^ subtle & interesting that "command" rhymes back to "legerdemain"
^^ and that prompts me to wonder if this could be recasted as a ballad - a narrative/story poem with rhyme & meter



Despite the government confiscating the years invested,
grandpa retired King of Cotton.
With his knowledge of Tamil and Sangam poetry,
the old man escaped the run of the mill,
fit to scribe his name on a manuscript.


^^ Is that the correct spelling - "Sangam"?


Hope this helps

8)

Michael (MV)

 

 

 
 
 
 

ryan
Posts: 14
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 00:43
Contact:

Re: Etymology

#3 Post by ryan » 03 Jun 2014, 03:51

For me, the title has a clinical contrast with the personal -- I don't care for this.

The first two strophes promise something 'interesting' completely missing by the end.

I like the idea of power as powerless to time. An echo of something and someone left behind. But. Could be said better. Weak verbs. Awkward syntax (left with dignity, king of cotton)

This one is pregnant with ideas. Clumsy with image and trope.

First the landscape is broken. (Hate worn clothes). Then rewind to a controlled empire. Then his empire has no dynasty. Then he sort of does through his not so physical command. Then the govt has control. Then he's a poet with dignity. Somewhere in between there's a mention of beautiful stained glass, I suppose, to insert something other than the narrative matter-a-fact.

The buildings are a fine metaphor not earned here.

A lot is lost in that progression…as by the end of the poem, I can no longer determine what you meant to do with that first strophe.

There is a marked tendency here to push/preach a certain message that exists outside of sense or reason, outside of image, outside of evidence or argument…this, even though it’s fairly unintelligible in places, still comes off as overly didactic.

Thanks.

FranklyDire
Posts: 13
Joined: 30 May 2014, 13:23

Re: Etymology

#4 Post by FranklyDire » 04 Jun 2014, 13:26

With grandpa’s legerdemain

[To me you use legerdemain as if to satisfy some outward demand, i.e. you write a poem using this word, maybe I am wrong but to me it doesn't fit, what trickery, what slight of hand, how did he manage anything in building his mill]

parts of the building collapsed [had collapsed, old clothes not wanted, no simile improves collapsed buildings]
like worn clothes
and new structures arose. [a new structure arose, a phoenix from its mythical ashes]

The mill was masculine

[masculine is too technical in my opinion, Michael was too polite to say so as bluntly, discard and use something like functional]
the mill-houses feminine; [likewise, use something like homely or comfortable or suchlike]
it was much like an Emperor and his concubines

[I know what you wish to say, it was his domain the mill, but you say it in a pseudo poetic way that doe snot work for me.

he managed to keep their height at bay. [Flummoxed here completely, what was kept at bay? the women, the height of the women?]

The buildings stretched from the mill gates

['spread out' is so much easier to read even if slightly hackneyed, in any case it should be stretched 'out']]
to the sea. It was as easy to maintain;

there was green, there was grey and shades in between. [I like this line despite its awkward stance, yes it works for me]

Grandpa maneuvered to get the best painted glass windows

[I would like to know how grandpa manoeuvred, I am interested I want to know how]

in this bungalow,

the arts and literature flourished. [There is need of a bridge from the glass windows, to how the arts flourished, we can only guess.]

They manufactured yarn, from cotton fibre [Who made yarn?]
and we climbed all those bales [climbed over in play? those storehouse bales?]
as children do when they play. [we children, substitute in the middle line]

The mill was mismanaged by grandpa’s sons.

[again we need a connection from grandpa's time and the son's time, a word like' later' or after grandpa's day]
The mill stopped growing,
as if listening to his command.

[wrong logic here, why would grandpa command the mill to stop. Even if dead would he not want his creation to endure?]]

The government confisticated the mill [we need a connect word here too, 'later' or 'eventually']
but he left with dignity, king of cotton, [who left grandpa, why not say so and enable us to stop guessing?]

with his Tamil and his knowledge of Sangam poetry
fit to write his name on a manuscript.

[As I read it the poem is about grandpa's love of literature that he neglected his mill, leaving it to his sons who were inept or lazy to make it work. Eventually the government took over the mill to pay back taxes. The suggestion to me is that grandpa took development gtrants off the government to set up his mill, but he spent most of his time on developing his arts centre, which flourished and hence the demise of his business - the mill. This constitutes grandpa's trickery then. I think you have just about proved that by what you write the last two lines are a summing up of the adventure but they suggest he was unlearned to start with which cannot be true, maybe he developed by mixing with other writers to become a master,

I'm not sure. I think you need to qualify Tamil with 'new found' or 'improved' or even mastery of the Tami language and also add a qualifier of Sangam poetry like, 'deep knowledge' or 'sublime' understanding of Sangam'. The last line suggests also that he began unlearned when what you mean is he is fit to be named with the masters at last, not just an able student but a mast. I really think you need to make that point in the last line and hence all the losses incurred have been worth it, at least for grandpa and his name.]

Despite all my meddling this is a great poem and could be even better. You have a real theme and developed it well. Juts needs tinkering. Well done Siva.

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: Etymology

#5 Post by SivaRamanathan » 05 Jun 2014, 11:16

Michael,Ryan and frank
Thanks for your detailed critique.It will take me a long time to assimilate all this.I am working on it.

Siva

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: Etymology

#6 Post by SivaRamanathan » 05 Jun 2014, 14:29

Etymology

With grandpa’s legerdemain
infrastructures collapsed
like a seduced body slipping from its garments
and new structures emerged.

The monochromatic spinning mill
stood tallest central pivot
the painted facades of the mill-houses,
revolved around
like cottages.

The Mill was like an Emperor
the mill houses, its concubines;
Grandpa managed to keep their height at bay.

The complex stretched from the mill gates
to the sea. Almost maintain-free-and green,
with shades of grey in between.

Grandpa maneuvered the finest
painted glass windows in this bungalow,
where the arts and literature flourished.

Yarn manufactured from cotton fiber,
and we climbed all those bales
as only children are able to play.

Mismanagement by the sons, and by
the next generation a decline in productivity,
as if listening to grandpa’s command.

Despite the government
confiscating the years invested,
Grandpa retired King of Cotton.

The landscape coloring
is like a symbolic foreshadowing
With his knowledge of Tamil Sangam poetry,
the old man escaped the run of the mill,

fit to scribe his name on a manuscript.

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